Sunday, May 1, 2016

I'm usually the one on dog duty in the morning.  My walking route takes me around a nearby elementary school.  And at least once a year, I've spotted one or two killdeer (I usually hear them before I see them) strolling through the schoolyard on a spring morning.  I used to think that they somehow had gotten lost - they *are* shorebirds, after all - but according to

"Look for Killdeer on open ground with low vegetation (or no vegetation at all), including lawns, golf courses, driveways, parking lots, and gravel-covered roofs, as well as pastures, fields, sandbars and mudflats. This species is one of the least water-associated of all shorebirds."

When I was elementary school age, I had learned from a nature documentary that the killdeer would famously hobble around with what seemed to be a broken wing as a way to distract predators from a clutch of eggs at the nest site.  The killdeer then become a minor character in a story I wrote for Language Arts, a story that became a source of pride when my grade 7 teacher said some encouraging words regarding the maturity of the piece in front of the entire class.  That was probably why I still write about birds today.  Maybe there's a child at this school who has also seen this bird and has written it into a story of his or her own.